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Elementary Education with Special Education Dual Licensure

Department of Teacher Education and Learning Sciences

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Intended for initial licensure students in undergraduate programs, this add on licensure program in Special Education will equip teachers to support positive educational outcomes for children with diverse learning abilities. Candidates in the program receive preparation in the characteristics of students with varying exceptionalities alongside instructional considerations within Universally Designed core instruction, instructional strategies and behavior management techniques related to teaching children and youth with behavioral disorders, methods and materials for teaching students with disabilities in elementary and secondary school, and how to develop informal diagnostic techniques and employ procedures for adapting curriculum and instruction.

Our add on program is flexible to the needs of students, offering face-to-face and online modalities. It offers students preparation in designing instructional environments to the edges such that instruction is inclusive of and responsive to diverse thinking and learning.

Program Description

The NC State Special Education add-on licensure program reflects contemporary issues in today’s classrooms, schools, and society concerning students with diverse learning needs.  It is intended for undergraduate majors who are enrolled in an initial licensure program.

The program consists of four courses and can be completed in two years by taking one course per semester. While it is recommended that students take courses in the sequence presented in the curriculum display, opportunities exist for alternative pathways.

This program will start in Fall 2019.

Internship Overview

Skills and techniques required in teaching students with diverse learning needs in a public school setting. Minimum 15 hours of classroom observation and 30 hours in instruction. Demonstration of competencies essential for teaching students with diverse learning needs.

State/Praxis II Testing Requirements:

The Coursework

The coursework consists of four core experiences, each of which are described below.

Catalog description: Introduction to field of special education. Focus on historical overview, definitions and terminology in basic areas of exceptionality; etiological factors in exceptionality; developmental and learning characteristics of each area of exceptionality;and educational settings and strategies employed in special education including Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and Positive Behavior Intervention and Support. Review of current educational laws and policies affecting special education.

Objectives of Course:  

  • Compare, contrast, and critique perceptions, foundations, and purposes of special education through multiple lenses (e.g., biomedical model, social model, students’ own experience).
  • Describe the ways in which US students are diverse and explain factors that could contribute to equitable and inequitable education.
  • Analyze perspectives on exceptionality and impacts on teaching practices.
  • Synthesize historic and modern day federal laws that govern the education and rights for students and people with disabilities in the U.S.
  • State and explain basic guarantees provided to people with exceptionalities through the laws and list goals that still must be achieved.
  • Explain, compare, and contrast characteristics of the major disability categories as written in IDEA from a strengths perspective.
  • Explain and critique intervention practices in place for students with exceptionalities.
  • Apply knowledge of exceptionalities and systems processes (e.g., UDL, MTSS, etc.) to plan and present educational resources.

Catalog description: To increase students’ knowledge of persons with high incidence disabilities (i.e., learning disability, mild intellectual disability, and serious emotional disability), and how to manage the behavior of all pupils in educational environments. Characteristics of students with high incidence disabilities will be emphasized , as well as strategies to reduce the likelihood of problem behavior of all pupils in the classroom.

Objectives of Course:  

  • Identify specific learning, social, and behavioral characteristics found in students with LD, MID, and EBD.
  • Correctly define, using observable and measurable terms, school-based behaviors.
  • Accurately assess school-based behavior of students.
  • Identify teacher behaviors that are conducive to establishing a positive classroom climate and one that is supportive of all students.
  • Describe behavior management procedures known to be effective in changing inappropriate behavior of all students.
  • Provide, in verbal and written fashion, classroom-based rules and procedures meant to prevent behavior problems in all students.
  • Examine their own teaching behaviors so that they can identify the function between what a teacher does, and how a student responds behaviorally.
  • Describe the advantages and disadvantages of using various classroom-based behavioral intervention strategies

Catalog description: Methods and materials for teaching students with disabilities in elementary and secondary school. Focus on research-supported instructional strategies for teaching academic skills, Universal Design for Learning, implementation of appropriate academic interventions, and evaluation of instructional outcomes within the context of Response to Intervention and Multi-Tier Systems of Supports.

Objectives of Course:  

  • Review and select research-based interventions for students in MTSS in Tiers 2 and 3.
  • Translate educational research into practice by identifying instructional strategies supported in the research literature, translating them into classroom instructional procedures (Research to Practice/Lesson Plan), and evaluating instructional outcomes.
  • Analyze commercially available materials (Materials Review) in regard to use with students with disabilities that address their strengths and needs including task analysis, sequences of examples, practice opportunities, and test examples.
  • Demonstrate facility in evaluating and implementing examples of direct instruction.
  • Describe the rationale for and give examples of teaching academic learning strategies to students with disabilities.
  • Implement appropriate academic interventions, monitor student performance using CBM procedures to evaluate and modify instruction as appropriate.

Catalog Description:  Concept of educational diagnosis of students with exceptionalities, including examination of educational diagnostic procedures in current use in special education. Development of informal diagnostic techniques and procedures for adapting curriculum and instruction for learner with exceptionalities.

Objectives of Course:  

  • Understand and explain the basic terminology used in educational assessment.
  • Define and discuss various types of assessment and the steps of the assessment
  • process.
  • Identify best practices to follow in the assessment process.
  • Understand how social, behavioral, and emotional characteristics can affect student achievement.
  • Understand how intelligence and memory tests are used in the assessment process for exceptional students.
  • Understand how selected standardized achievement tests are used to assess exceptional students’ skills.
  • Interpret, from an instructional perspective, standardized data from psychoeducational reports and other formal and informal reports.
  • Understand the Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) in K-12 public schools in North Carolina.
  • Summarize Prereferral-Placement process in North Carolina through examination and application of DEC process.
  • Apply the content of the course to the implementation of MTSS.
CourseSemester Offered*Year
ECI 585 – Education of Exceptional ChildrenSpring semesterSophomore year
ECI 579 – Organization and Management of Inclusive ClassroomsFall semesterJunior year
ECI 571 – Instructional Strategies for Students with DisabilitiesSpring semesterJunior year
ECI 581 – Educational Diagnosis and Prescription For Children With ExceptionalitiesFall semesterSenior year

*Students will take 18 hours per semester in the four semesters of the SPE Add-on